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Celebrating belonging and diversity

Elton Dzikiti, Diversity & Inclusion Partner for Staff Networks, says the Trust is ‘home’ to people from many different backgrounds and with equally varying personal characteristics
Elton Dzikiti, Diversity & Inclusion Partner for Staff Networks, says the Trust is ‘home’ to people from many different backgrounds and with equally varying personal characteristics

At Solent NHS Trust it is important that our colleagues can be themselves and feel comfortable showing who they truly are. Anna Rowen, Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Solent, says as an organisation, Solent wants colleagues to have a sense of belonging and to feel safe and valued. Anna says; “To have this we work consciously and with effort to create a psychologically safe environment and we do this by creating a culture of candour - where feedback flows openly and respectfully and where we value and appreciate diversity in all its guises.

“For us to be able to tackle inequalities we must first appreciate the lived experiences of others. For us to support the wellbeing of our colleagues and enable engagement we must appreciate the richness of thought that diversity brings.”

To enable staff to feel validated and have a sense of belonging – the D&I team has a proactive plan in place to ensure positive action.

Within the D&I team sit our Staff Networks, one of the many ways’ colleagues are given a platform and can influence the culture of our workspace. It also provides a safe space for colleagues to support each other and build a sense of community and to connect with allies. The networks are also supported by the Trust and each network has a director as an executive sponsor, including the CEO.

We are home to people from many backgrounds

Elton Dzikiti, Diversity & Inclusion Partner for Staff Networks, says the Trust is ‘home’ to people from many different backgrounds and with equally varying personal characteristics. Elton says; “That diversity makes for a rich organisation, but it may not always be an inclusive environment, hence the need for a structured and a Trust-supported platform for individuals or a collective group of people sharing ‘protected characteristics’ to have a voice.”

Elton says that these networks are further enriched by ‘allies’, who may not have protected characteristics themselves but appreciate the need for a fairer and inclusive society – or just want to educate themselves on the challenges others are facing so as to help influence positive change.

We currently have six active staff networks within the Trust, namely MultiFaith; DisAbility; Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+); Carers and 50+.

Erin Power, the co-chair for the DisAbility network, welcomes staff to join. "We provide a safe space for any colleague who may have a long-term condition, are neurodivergent or have a disability to connect and receive support, and a welcoming, informative space for those who are interested in creating positive workplace practices and an inclusive workplace for those with disabilities.”

Emma D’eath, Trust Chaplain and chair for the MultiFaith network, says the networks provide a space for connection, support, conversation, and reflection. Emma says, “It's important to have a network group that brings staff together to celebrate all our diversity of faiths, beliefs and cultures in our Trust. We are also here to offer support and care to all our staff whether they have a faith or not. We promote human flourishing in our workplaces, to share knowledge and encourage staff to feel safe to express their faith in the workplace. All of us have so many gifts to offer and by being part of our network group, our vision is to help staff release those gifts. We offer a safe space for everyone to have a time for reflection, and stillness, paying attention to our spirituality is a key element of our on-going mental wellbeing.”

Anyone who works for Solent NHS Trust, either in substantive or on a bank contract, is welcome to join any or all the networks. The networks host safe spaces for core members only and group meetings for all members, colleagues and allies. Joining is simple, just send an email to:

BAME – equality@solent.nhs.uk

LGBT+ - LGBT+&Allies@solent.nhs.uk

MultiFaith - MultiFaithStaffNetwork@solent.nhs.uk

DisAbility – disabilitySNHST@solent.nhs.uk

Carers – carersnetwork@solent.nhs.uk

50+ - 50+staffnetwork@solent.nhs.uk

This year promises to be an exciting and busy year for our networks, who will be undertaking extensive campaigns to engage with everyone from staff to partners through a few events that will be open to all to attend. Look out for these events which will be advertised widely during the year through our internal communications channels. The networks are always there and anytime you may need more information or want to raise something you feel is relevant, you are welcome to reach out through the networks directly.

The networks are there:

  • For everyone and anyone within the organisation to come together to discuss any issues, without judgement being passed
  • To raise awareness of challenges people with protected characteristics are facing to push for change
  • To offer a supportive ‘net’ to individuals who for example, are being discriminated against, and need help with either getting it resolved or just share experiences
  • As a collective body that holds the Trust to account when it comes to addressing inequities within the organisation
  • To celebrate successes, achievements, and important events

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

pals@solent.nhs.uk

0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

Email: InformationGovernanceTeam@solent.nhs.uk

Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
Southampton
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

communications@solent.nhs.uk 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.